IDL, the Interactive Data Language from Research Systems, is being rewritten for Mac OS X, the product’s first major overhaul since the original Mac version debuted in 1993.
IDL is designed to enable in-depth data analysis through “industry-leading visualization.” It’s used by analysts and engineers around the globe.
“Both companies offer world class solutions and we feel IDL on Mac OS X will enable our customers to solve their problems and achieve their goals faster and easier than before,” said Mike Scally, CEO of Research Systems, in a statement. “Mac OS X brings the speed, stability and power of Unix to IDL’s Macintosh users. In combination with the G4 processor with Velocity Engine and hardware OpenGL support on cutting edge graphic accelerators, IDL on Mac OS X is a best-of-class scientific visualization application.”
The Mac OS X port will be based on IDL and plans include a fully native re-implementation of IDL for Mac OS X using the Cocoa frameworks. It will provide increased performance and stability with plans for support of the Aqua interface, multi-processing, and extensive Velocity Engine integration.
Compatibility for previous IDL versions on all platforms will be retained, allowing .pro code for Windows to run on the Mac with faster speed, according to Scally. IDL for Mac OS X will also leverage the BSD underpinnings of Mac OS X and provide support for some of the best features available in the UNIX operating system without the complexity of UNIX programming, he added. Some of these features include preemptive multi-processing, protected memory, networking ability and high-speed I/O.
Research Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kodak, is a developer of data visualization and application development software. The company’s other products built on IDL will also support Mac OS X including ENVI (Environment for Visualizing Images), RiverTools (hydrology and terrain analysis), and VIP (Visual IDL Programming). (Thanks to MacCentral reader, John MacNaughton, for the heads-up on this news item.)